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FCN 2009, Noto, Italy

Thursday 05 Jan 2012

A house that speaks volumes

Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo 
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100 m2 holiday home nestled in the Sicilian countryside 

The design of the house provides the three bedrooms and the large living room, preferably opened onto an outer covered area, with a view of the valley and of the sea. It creates a direct relationship with the farmyard and is used as a viewpoint on the surrounding landscape. Furthermore, the design should ensure a minimum height of three metres in the habitable rooms and security during the winter months.

The considerations on the nature of the site (a bench of clay with a steep slope), the functional programme, the essential requirements, and the limited budget are the fundamental basis for the idea of the project: Setting the building at the same height of the farmyard raises the walking level over the country level, and therefore assures a larger view of the sea, the possibility of using the farmyard as an outdoor space at the house's disposal, and the flow of meteoric water. Reducing the passage spaces and introducing a caravan (a mobile volume) it is possible to enlarge the needed cubature to start the required functional programme. Using prefabricated elements facilitates the access to the site and accelerates the construction stages, also reducing the costs.

The building is composed by two independent constructions: a container-volume, made with prefabricated elements of reinforced concrete and intended as the master's house, and a mobile volume, with an iron structure, intended as the guest residence. The entire building, compact during the prolonged closing period, when in use can be split up and therefore enlarged. The mobile construction, moving along the tracks anchored to the structure of reinforced concrete, changes the configuration of the entire building widening the view of the sea, while during the long closing period it can be incorporated in the container-volume, becoming an anti-burglary device. The presence of opposite openings ensures natural ventilation and provides various views of the sea and of the country. The use of insulating board and wood ventilated wall ensures a suitable comfort.

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